What is Critical to Quality (CTQ)

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Critical to Quality (CTQ) are the elements that from a costumer perspective is important for a given product or service. The CTQ is defined after Voice of theCcustomer (VOC) have been gathered and analysed. Basically the CTQ is a quantitative specification based on interpreted costumer statements.

From VOC to CTQ

When going from VOC to CTQ there are several steps that is taken,

  1. Definition: What is the product or service provided described in a word or short sentence
  2. Measures: How can the product or service be quantified? It could for example be the time to change a tyre at a Formula 1 pit stop.
  3. Target: This is the aim if no variation in the process is considered. For example 5,6 seconds to change a Formula 1 tyre based on feedback from the costumer.
  4. Tolerance: This is an interpretation of how much variation the costumer is willing to accept, for example upper limit of 6,2 seconds.
  5. Defects: Is the amount of defects the business is willing to accept, if Six Sigma principle is used, it would be 3,4 outside spec from 1 million tyre changes.

Example of CTQ

If looking at an example of CTQ that everyone can relate to, a bottle of drinking water is used. Considering the characteristics a costumer use to determine if it is a good quality product, following are some examples.

  • Water must be clean and without colour
  • Water should not contain chemicals or germs
  • Water Should be without smell
  • Water should not have a bad taste
  • Bottle should not be leaking
  • Bottle should be sealable
  • Bottle should be easy to hold
  • Bottle should have a proper size to not contain too much or too little water
  • Bottle should be easy to drink from.

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Critical to Quality (CTQ)